We have all heard the benefits of innovative thinking. It makes us think out of the box, see things in a new light and reach solutions that don’t seem too obvious at first. The same applies to businesses as well. Through innovation, organizations can fast adapt to the demands of a turbulent market as it promotes quick thinking and adapting. Innovation also goes a long way in ensuring business success and driving higher profitability, as it makes organizations a step ahead of their peers. In a world that is getting highly competitive each day, this is extremely important.
Benefits of an innovative organization
Encouraging innovation goes a long way in ensuring the long-term success of any organization. The three major benefits for an organization are as follows:
1. Aids in company’s growth
In a survey conducted by The Boston Consulting Group, it was found that 79% of the surveyed executives ranked innovation among their top 3 business initiatives. Their focus on innovation in science, technology, and development allows them to be flexible in dealing with changing market dynamics. This, in turn, allows them to grow at a rate that’s faster than the industry standard.
2. Reduces the risk of becoming obsolete
The choice is straightforward. Innovate or perish. At a time when everything moves ahead at lightning speed, making innovation take a backseat is simply not an option. As digital technologies keep on changing perpetually, businesses need to change with them in order to stay relevant and to stay in the game.
3. Helps in standing out
While every organization understands the importance of innovation and tries to implement it to some extent, the real difference comes when an organization is extremely proactive in making the process a priority. The more an organization works in this regard, the more they are able to stand out from the rest in competitive markets.
The innovation checklist
Now that we have established how important out-of-the-box thinking is for an organization, let’s get to the implementation bit of it. While many organizations dream of being as creative and as different as possible, only a few are able to achieve it. This mostly happens because their innovation goals are not aligned with the overall outlook of the company. Let’s take a look at a few questions that need to be answered to ensure the effective implementation of innovation in your organization.
1. What does innovation mean to your organization?
Innovation is not a one-size-fits-all theory that can be implemented in each and every organization. It depends on the sector, environment, scale, and capacity an organization operates in. Hence, the first step in creating an organization that is innovative and creative is to identify what is it that innovation can bring to an organization. The definition needs to customized accordingly, allowing it to enhance the long-term vision and mission of the organization.
2. How can it help your business to grow?
Once this definition is set, next comes the alignment of innovation with business goals. Adoption of innovative practices for the sake of it will not reflect on the organization’s bottom line, rendering the whole process futile and wasteful. Therefore, it needs to be evaluated how innovation can add to and support business goals, in order to ensure that you gain measurable benefits out of the process.
3. What has stifled innovation so far?
It is not like this is the first time you have heard about the importance of innovating and design thinking for your organization. A few bottlenecks always stand in the way of achieving innovation, and these need to be identified beforehand to ensure that they don’t become a major issue going ahead.
An issue might be the scarcity of resources. In this case, resource allocation should be done in a way that established innovation as a priority. In some other cases, digital innovation is stifled when employees are not digitally dexterous. In this case, upskilling and encouragement go a long way in ensuring the adoption of innovation. The point is to have all your bases covered before you start out on the journey of innovation.
4. Have you spotted all avenues of innovation?
Innovation can be applied to many areas and processes, even the ones that might not be obvious at first glance. There are numerous ways in which innovation can significantly improve business processes. For example, paper-based processes can be replaced with automated workflows that get the job done much more quickly and efficiently. Similarly, something as basic as data capture can be done in an innovative manner too. The key is to identify the scope of innovation from both the obvious and the not-so-obvious sources.
5. Have you made innovation goals?
Any initiative’s success can only be measured if there are KPIs and goals set in place that measure the impact and benchmark the performance. Innovation management can entail various KPIs, which include input and output metrics across capabilities, structure, culture, strategy, and business. These should act as guardrails that give direction to the adoption and implementation of innovation.
6. How do you plan to reach them?
Once the metrics are established, you would need relevant tools that help you get there. Say your goal is to achieve digital innovation. No-Code platforms like Quixy go a long way in this regard, as it allows for solutions to be built without getting caught up in the hassles of traditional development. Through easy-to-use visual tools, complex and highly functional solutions can be created without writing a single line of code. These tools act as necessary support in ensuring that your innovation metrics are met successfully.
7. Is there a sustainable culture of innovation?
Innovation should be seen as a continuing culture instead of a one-stop destination. Innovation is not just a goal or a strategy, instead, it is a way of thinking for the entire organization. By setting the right processes, practices, and encouragement in place, it can be achieved. For example, employees can be encouraged to become citizen developers, empowered to build their own solutions instead of relying on the IT department for each and every one of their needs. This fosters a culture of innovation and problem-solving, benefitting the organization extremely in the long run.
In today’s digital age, innovation is a must for organizations in order to keep up with the market and drive growth. The endeavor is not a challenge if your basics are set and you have the required tools to start out on this fulfilling journey.